Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why should you believe?

On the next day, when they had left Bethany, {Jesus} became hungry.  Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. 
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As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.  Being reminded, Peter *said to Him, “ Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”  And Jesus *answered saying to them, “ Have faith in God.   Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.  Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.  Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. (Mark 11:12-14, 20-25)
There is a vast dichotomy taught in our churches.  On the one hand, we're told to have "faith in God."  But on the other hand, when troubles come we're expected to just take our lumps because "God doesn't do that any more - we have Doctors now."

So, in all honesty, what does this passage of scripture mean for us today?  Here are my questions:
  1. Was this given to the just the disciples of Jesus of that day?
  2. Was it given just to the apostles?
  3. Or was it intended to be given to all, for all time (which infers that it's not just something for us to know about and believe that happened)
And lastly,what does "have faith in God" really mean, and specifically, what does it mean in this context?  I have an idea, or two about that.

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